I reread my blog posts, to remember my adventures, to see how far I have come, to look to the future. I try and meditate on what I write, especially when I have written about and trials or difficulties I have been facing. Those are the hardest to read and also the most important. In my blog post about why I did not want to travel, I closed off my story by saying that I managed to deal with the anxiety I had before leaving to travel, caused by fear of leaving everything behind as though it would somehow disappear, by realizing that I can fly as high as I need and when I am ready to come down to come how, it will always be there. I have been rereading that post and reflecting on that last statement and trying to make amends to it and grow from it, which comes in two forms.
The first being that I have now learned through these months of travel, that I do not need to come home, because I have, as cliche as it may seem, come to the realization that many travelers do that the world is my home. That there is not some sort of “end point” to my travel, a moment when I have ticked off the last box and am ready to come back to where I am supposed to be and get a job and a house and a mortgage and hunker down for the next 40-something years. The thing you realize when you leave to travel in this free way is that there is no marked ending to anything unless you want there to be. There is no youthful escape if you don’t want it to only last for your youth. Adventure can be lifelong, and really should be, and that there are no rules. You are making it all up as you go and that is the truth of freedom.
My second point to the statement is the weight I place on a tangible home. As I have talked about, a lot of my issues while I have been traveling as well as much of what propelled me to leave initially are my life-long issues I have struggled with of insecurity and lack of self-worth. My journey in this path I am on now and the path I am on for my whole life is one of self-acceptance and self love. That is not my end goal but rather the choice I am trying to learn to make every day for how to radically live my life. And so in this idea that I must “come home” to some sort of “home” that physically exists in the US, as I have realized I implied in the blog post, does not allow for another one of the primary lessons one learns when traveling and wandering and being a nomad: that your home is wherever you are. At first this is a necessity, when you are in a new city and country every day and the only things that are familiar to you are the few items of clothing you are carrying on your back. This is simply survival and basic self-care. But after a while it becomes a deeper philosophy that is penetrating and a lesson that will stay with you for the rest of your life, something you never really realized when you were back home in your apartment with your bed and your big shoe collection and all of your nice shiny things. It is something you have learned the hard way, the rough way, in a way you had to because it was simply the reality of your every day. But after a while it becomes something you will take with you forever, something that will change you. And it becomes part of this journey for self-love and acceptance, realizing that you are enough just as you are, that you are safe and that you are always home, because you have you, and that is all you need.
Sometimes I feel unsure and confused on the road. Sometimes I feel more lost than I have ever felt in my entire life. Sometimes I feel so dangerously far away from any known comforts. Sometimes I feel so completely trapped by my own free-spiritedness. But being free doesn’t mean being certain or good all the time. Being free is taking risks to jump when the ground seems too far. To run because you have this gift to go anywhere you want, and it’s your job to make the choice to use it. To love because that is the only comfort and safety you need to bring you home to yourself.
We often sacrifice growing and searching and becoming what we are meant to become in order to hide in an illusion of security. Scared of the unknown, scared of any risk, cradled by familiar comforts. But what if we realized that through this we are just hiding from our truth? What if we realized that the most secure we can be is when we finally set ourselves free? In between all of my self-doubt and (yes, sometimes) self-hatred, I still knew I valued my freedom over a textbook definition of self-worth that did not have to apply to me. I still knew I was enough, that at any moment I am simply nothing and I am fully everything. I knew I could go it alone, because I am never alone when I am with myself.